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Canterbury Varroa Movement Controls Lifted

27 July 2004

Canterbury Varroa Movement Controls Lifted

The controlled area currently covering the whole of North Canterbury has been reduced to a 10km zone around the Oxford property at the centre of the varroa investigation.

MAF Varroa Programme Coordinator Paul Bolger said that most beekeepers are now free to resume normal beekeeping activities.

Movement restrictions will remain on apiaries within this zone and any hives outside of the 10km zone which are also owned by beekeepers that have hives within the zone.

Mr Bolger said that since the 4th of June over 350 beekeepers have been affected by movement controls in North Canterbury. With the new controls the number of beekeepers directly affected will be reduced to 23.

Restrictions were lifted at midnight last night after further testing was completed in the 10 to 15km radius around the affected site.

Depending upon the weather, movement controls will remain in place at Murchison until testing is completed by early next week.

If there is no further evidence of varroa, the Oxford investigation will be called off by the end of August. To continue with current controls would seriously disrupt the commercial operations of beekeepers and potentially those industries that rely on bees for pollination services, Mr Bolger said.

The varroa investigation was initiated in June after a single varroa mite was found on an Oxford apiary. The investigation was extended to include Murchison following the detection of a mite on the outside of a plastic bag containing sticky boards used in varroa surveillance from a Murchison property.

ENDS

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